Fully Automating your customer health model is not the solution!

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While efficiency, automation, and AI dominate discussions in light of recent global trends, how they impact the Customer Success role remains challenging as CS also revolves around personal and subjective elements (relationship, sentiment, intimate familiarity) that often require in-depth analysis to identify risk/opportunity as there isn’t always one formula fits all. 

While some areas in the customer journey can definitely be automated and more efficient (value emails, sentiment analysis, trends triggers, and AI-driven responses), I’d like to challenge the notion that health score measurement should be fully automated.

Why, you ask?

One of the most essential capabilities of a Customer Success Manager role is assessing various parameters, thinking critically, and making informed decisions based on their nuanced understanding. 

Automating the health model may jeopardize a CSM’s ability to navigate a complex landscape, identify vital signs, correlate it to the bigger picture, and derive meaningful insights. It can potentially threaten renewals and growth opportunities.

So, what’s the right model?

I propose a balanced approach:

1️⃣ Measure Four Key Parameter Categories:

  • Product Adoption: Identify 1-3 main KPIs closely linked to demonstrating value. (usage trends, specific actions, and more)
  • Engagement: Track the overall interaction over time (latest email, call, or EBR).
  • Relationship: Determine if someone from the organization strongly connects with the champion/decision-maker.
  • Sentiment: How the customer feels towards your brand, product, and service. (Via discussions/tickets/surveys/AI tools)

2️⃣ Automate Parameter Extraction Efficiently: Simplify the extraction of the chosen parameters to facilitate easy analysis and create reminders and easy ways to fill it.

3️⃣ Focus on Trends, Not Just Snapshots: Instead of static snapshots, emphasize product adoption and engagement trends.

4️⃣ Automate Triggered Alerts: Set up automated alerts based on predefined parameter rules to notify CSMs of critical developments.

5️⃣ Establish a Clear Cadence to invest time in reviewing it: Define a structured cadence (every 2-3 weeks) for CSMs to look at these parameters and make informed decisions regularly. It should take 3-4 minutes per account, so for a portfolio of up to 40 accounts, it should take around 2 hours maximum every 2-3 weeks. 

6️⃣ Translate the decisions into actions – Since CS is about showing value, this process should allow the CSM to demonstrate value proactively based on the signs and not only assess risks. 

In embracing this balanced model, we empower our Customer Success teams to leverage automation while preserving their strategic ability to invest time in assessing situations regularly and make informed decisions at the right time. 

Prevention and growth instead of fire-fighting.

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